Go easy with the Antibiotics

India has emerged as the world's largest consumer of antibiotics, followed by China and the US, according to a new study on the growing alarm surrounding antibiotic-resistance. The study, Global Trends in Antibiotic Consumption 2000- 2010, according to Princeton University researchers found that worldwide antibiotic use has risen a staggering 36 per cent over the studied 10-year period.

Among the 16 groups of antibiotics studied, cephalosporins, broad-spectrum penicillins and fluoroquinolones accounted for more than half of that increase, with consumption rising 55 per cent from 2000 to 2010. The study quantifies the growing alarm surrounding antibiotic-resistant pathogens and a loss of efficacy among antibiotics used to combat the most common illnesses.
The report also highlights an increasing resistance to carbapenems and polymixins, two classes of drugs that have long been considered last-resort antibiotics for illnesses without any other known treatment. Overall, the study reviewed patterns, seasonality and frequency of use of antibiotics in 71 countries.

"The data underscore the welcome evidence that more global citizens are able to access and purchase antibiotics. But that use is not being effectively monitored by health officials, from doctors to hospital workers to clinicians," the researchers noted. "Consequently, antibiotic use is both rampant and less targeted. That reality is driving antibiotic resistance at an unprecedented rate," researchers said.

The five BRICS nations - Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa - have been held responsible for more than three-quarters of that surge. While India is the largest consumer of antibiotics, US accounts for the highest per capita consumption, with a rate of more than twice that of India.
Source: PTI

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